MedStar Health launches first patient-facing, interactive EHR heart risk calculator

Heart Risk Education: This aspect of the heart risk calculator EHR application is an interactive visual aid that a physician and patient can use to explore how the patient’s risk may change with certain medical or lifestyle interventions—and to thus inform shared decision-making.

MedStar Health is launching the first patient-facing, interactive heart risk calculator that will be integrated in its patients’ electronic health records (EHRs). An estimated 575 cardiologists and other doctors across the system will be able to more easily show patients their personal risk for heart disease, stroke, and other cardiovascular diseases over time using easy-to-read graphics. This assessment will help doctors recommend lifestyle choices to improve patients’ heart health, a topic that is top of mind each February during American Heart Month.

Kristen Miller, DrPH, Scientific Director, MedStar Health National Center for Human Factors in Healthcare

This innovation was developed by the MedStar Health National Center for Human Factors in Healthcare, which is part of the MedStar Institute for Innovation. The Center’s work was made possible by nearly $2 million in combined cooperative agreement funding the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office of the National Coordinator (ONC) for Health Information Technology awarded two winners in November 2018 as part of the Leading Edge Acceleration Projects (LEAP) in Health IT opportunity. The team worked with Centra Health, CareJourney, Asymmetrik, MedStar Health’s EHR vendor, a patient advocate, and many within the MedStar Health system to make the tool possible.

The calculator has the potential to transform the delivery of heart risk checks nationwide. It supports quicker clinical decision-making while striving to help reduce technology burnout for providers through its fully embedded, integrated display and automatically populated patient data. The project demonstrates the MedStar Health Human Factors Center’s growing capabilities in informatics and SMART on FHIR app development, which are complemented by the team’s foundation in human factors and commitment to designing tools for and with end users.

“As researchers and innovators, we’re always looking for ways to use technology and design to improve the well-being of both patients and clinicians—this time by advancing knowledge at the point of care,” said Kristen Miller, DrPH, scientific director at the MedStar Health National Center for Human Factors in Healthcare. “We’re proud the team has reached such a significant milestone in this work—one that now brings innovation, research, and education to the bedside and beyond.”

Learn more in the MedStar Health press release, “MedStar Health launches new interactive heart risk calculator in patient electronic health record,” and our new Featured Project page. 

Heart Risk Calculation: This initial, prominent view of the heart risk calculator EHR application enables the physician to quickly see and convey a patient’s 10-year cardiovascular event risk, calculated automatically from data already in the patient’s EHR.